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Cobb Library Foundation Gets Booked at Six with Bill Arnett

Arnett is most recently known for writing about and collecting the work of African American artists in the Deep South, including pieces by artists Thornton Dial and Lonnie Holley.

Courtesy Souls Grown Deep Foundation Facebook
Courtesy Souls Grown Deep Foundation Facebook
Patch Staff Report

The Cobb Library Foundation is pleased to announce their Booked at Six Author Series for June. On Thursday, June 19th, with Bill Arnett, an Atlanta-based writer, editor, curator and art collector who has built internationally important collections of African, Asian, and African American art. He has exhibited works from those collections and delivered lectures at over 100 museums and educational institutions in the United States and abroad. This is his first presentation in the Atlanta area in many years.

Mr. Arnett is most recently known for writing about and collecting the work of African American artists in the Deep South, including pieces by artists Thornton Dial and Lonnie Holley, who he discovered during his treks through Alabama.  He began to collect quilts created by women living in Gee’s Bend, AL and arranged for the first influential museum exhibition of those quilts, bringing them international acclaim for their Quilts of Gee’s Bend.

In hopes of introducing this art to a wider audience, Arnett founded Tinwood Books with friend Jane Fonda and edited and co-authored Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the SouthAn exhibition of the same title was presented at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Additionally, Arnett has edited and/or co-authored many other books, including Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts, Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt, and Thornton Dial in the 21st Century and helped to create the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, an organization committed to raising awareness of these artists.

As a staunch advocate for the cultural importance of these so-called “Folk” or “Outsider” artists of the black American South as a coherent cultural movement, Arnett was met with great resistance from the traditional art society. Currently, a documentary about his discoveries is in the process of filming. He will be presenting slides and video of his collection while talking about his decades-long journey through the world of art. Books and signatures will be available after the discussion.

The Marietta-based non-profit Cobb Library Foundation is dedicated to the continued support, growth, enhancement and awareness of the Cobb County Public Library system. The Booked at Six program begins at 6:00 p.m. with hors d’ourves and cocktails. Tickets are $50.00 per person and are available at www.cobblibraryfoundation.org  All proceeds benefit the library system through the foundation.

For more information regarding the Cobb Library Foundation, please visit www.cobblibraryfoundation.org


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